Publication Name: PESA (QLD & NT) Petroleum Symposium 2003
Authors: Graham Pope
Date Published: December 2003
Number of Pages: 9
Reference Type: Magazine Article
Abstract:Southern Pacific Petroleum NL (SPP) is currently producing about 2,700 barrels of oil per stream day (bpsd) from the $360 million Stuart Demonstration Module (Stage 1). Since operation commenced in late 1999, the plant has produced a total of 965,000 barrels of oil, 305,000 in the first six months of 2003. The plant has successfully demonstrated the ATP technology with sustained production of oil from shale. Production ramp-up of Stage 1 has been slower than expected due to the need to reduce air emissions that arose during short runs at the end of 1999. As a result, the owners of the project made developing solutions to these emissions a top priority.
In April 2001, SPP assumed full ownership and became operator of the Stage 1 project. Together with meeting operating guidelines, the plant availability has steadily increased to more than 60% in the first half of 2003. Feed rates are still restricted to 70% of the initial design rate due to the undersized shale dryer. Oil yields are at 85% of design level. Building on the successes to date, SPP has initiated a capital improvement program, funded from a recent capital raising, focussed on improvements in stream day capacity, plant reliability and oil yield recovery.
With the success of the Stage 1 plant, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Stage 2 project is in its final stages of review. Stage 2 will increase capacity by 15,000 bpsd by the construction of a commercial-size ATP module by 2007. The project could be expanded to a fully commercial scale by 2011
(Stage 3), ultimately producing approximately 200,000 barrels per day.
An overview of the deposit, ATP processing technology and successful milestones toward commercialisation of the 2.6 billion barrel Stuart Oil Shale Deposit are briefly discussed.